Urban resilience in Bangladesh: Integrating local and national planning processes
Bangladesh is often referred to as the “ground zero for climate change”. The topography and location of the country make it highly prone to extreme weather events, including cyclones, floods, salinity intrusion and storm surges. Socio-economic factors, such as a strong dependence on agriculture and other resource-dependent sectors, and a high population density and poverty rate, contribute further to the country’s vulnerability. The growing urban population will face a variety of climate change impacts, including stress on resources due to migration from cyclone-impacted regions, as well as increased salinity due to storm surges, urban drainage issues, and vector borne diseases. The urban poor are some of the most vulnerable populations to these impacts. The Government of Bangladesh has responded to climate risks with a range of policies and programmes, that allocate budgets for reducing vulnerabilities and engaging the private sector. However, without decisive action by local governments, these measures cannot be effective. This policy brief outlines why supporting local climate action in Bangladesh is critical to achieve national and international climate change and development commitments. It discusses existing national policies and tools that support local resilience, and recommends how national government can accelerate local climate action.